Ahead of the January 2017 transfer window, it was claimed that Chelsea were considering a £20m bid for Jamaal Lascelles.
That story was largely laughed off, as £20m for a player who had only started 10 Premier League matches and played less than half a season in the Championship for Newcastle (as well as previous games for Forest), sounded very unlikely.
Some 15 months on and now the London Evening Standard say that their information is that Chelsea are scouting the Newcastle Captain ahead of a potential big money bid in the Summer.
The newspaper says that as well as the quality of the signing, the West London club are also desperate to bring in more English players, as well as signings who have youth on their side.
As a 23 year old English player, Jamaal Lascelles certainly satisfies two of those conditions and is increasingly impressing more and more people, not just those on Tyneside.
Whilst he is still seen as a longshot, there has been talk of him potentially sneaking into the final 23 man England squad for Russia this summer.
The London Evening Standard add that they understand Jamaal Lascelles is now on £50,000 after agreeing an improved new six year contract in October 2017.
With Chelsea for example paying January signing Ross Barkley £100,000 a week, Chelsea are said to have no concerns about satisfying the Newcastle Captain when it comes to the mondey side of things.
However, the Standard say that Chelsea accept that Jamaal Lascelles is happy at Newcastle and that he wouldn’t be easy to sign.
A lot of that happiness surrounds the presence of Rafa Benitez and Chelsea believe their chances would be much improved.
The 21 year old Danish international Andreas Christensen has now become first choice at Chelsea and on Tuesday night, Antonio Conte started with a back three of Rudiger, Azpilicueta and Christensen in the crucial game against Barcelona, Gary Cahill only on the bench.
With Gary Cahill and David Luiz set to turn 33 and 31 respectively this year, it isn’t difficult to see why Chelsea might be looking at the Newcastle defender as a potential recruit.
Chelsea’s hopes and Newcastle fans’ fears look inextricably linked if the Blues did move for Jamaal Lascelles.
With Premier League football, Rafa Benitez and new ambitious owners, I think most Newcastle supporters would feel very confident that the Captain will stay at St James Park.
However, if any one of those things are not in place come the next transfer window, then you would have to be worried. If two or three of those things aren’t at St James Park then it could be all but impossible to keep Newcastle’s best player at the club.
Let’s get Premier League safety and new owners in place, then there is every chance that all the other jigsaw pieces will fall into place, including Rafa Benitez and Jamaal Lascelles being at Newcastle for some time to come.